The first-ever Gay Pride parade was held in the eastern Polish city of Bialystok on Saturday, but the march was marred by violence from soccer hooligans and conservative campaigners staged counter protests, local police said.
25 of these thugs were arrested.
Bialystok, Poland is a small city in the largely Catholic nation.
The largest city in northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship (or province/state). Białystok is the tenth-largest city in Poland with a population of about 300,000 residents.
Ringed by riot police, around 1,000 pride marchers walked defiantly through the streets of the northeastern city of Bialystok as thousands of nationalist football “ultra” fans, far-right groups and others threw flash bombs, rocks and glass bottles. As counter-protesters yelled “God, honor and motherland” and “Bialystok free of perverts,” the pride marchers chanted “Poland free of fascists” in return. Police said about 4,000 people were involved in demonstrations against the march. Bags of flour and other objects were thrown out of Communist-era housing blocks at the pride marchers, who were moving along a 3-kilometer (1.8 mile) route through the city center.According to Bialystok’s police spokesman, Tomasz Krupa, the violence led to the detention of 20 people, four of whom were suspected of committing crimes, including the use of threats and insults against officers.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights have become one of the key issues in the upcoming elections this autumn in the devout Catholic country.
The decision to allow a Gay Pride parade in Bialystok was highly contested by local religious groups.
Homosexuality is a frequent topic of public debate in Poland, whose conservative ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski condemned gay rights as a “threat” in April.
Earlier this month, a Polish campaign group said that around 30 communities, including villages and regional assemblies, had in recent months declared themselves to be “free of LGBT ideology,” reported France’s 24.
As we reported earlier this summer, “The popular right wing leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski , of the PiS party has urged Poles to vote for what he calls ‘the only party that gives a 100 percent guarantee that our values will be protected.'”
“PiS needs an enemy, someone to fight against, someone they can use to raise fear,” said Bartosz Staszewski, an LGBTQ activist. “Before, it was immigrants. This time it’s LGBT people.”
Earlier this year, Poland just had its first gay inclusive prom at the Bednarska High School in the capitol city of Warsaw.
The BBC said, “Polish police have arrested 25 people after attacks on LGBT activists taking part in the city of Bialystok’s first ever equality march.”
Around 800 pro-LGBT demonstrators marched through the streets of the city on Saturday amid a heavy police presence.
Hundreds of counter-protesters attempted to disrupt the event, with some attacking activists and chanting homophobic insults.
Watch the disturbing video below.